When Hector Bellerin arrived at Arsenal from Barcelona, he brought with him a talented friend – Jon Toral.
While Hector has flourished and made his way into the first team as a regular starter and first choice right back, Toral has found himself shipped out on loan after his development stalled while he dealt with a genetic condition in his knees that caused a lax meniscus and required surgery to rectify.
Injury free for some time now, Toral has been enjoying a good season with Birmingham with six goals and four assists in 26 Championship appearances.
Speaking to the official Birmingham website, Toral is targeting promotion with his temporary club while no doubt hoping Arsene Wenger will be watching as he is out of contract in the summer.
“Brentford [his previous loan team] were always in and out of the play-offs.” Toral said.
“We were never a team that were in the play-offs the whole campaign.
“We dropped out of it near the end of the season but in the last game of the season we got in, because Ipswich and Derby lost.
“We were a little bit lucky to get in, but the season doesn’t finish till the last game.
“There’s always a chance. You have to play for it and we won that game and got into the play-offs.
“Shame we couldn’t take it to the final at Wembley but we did our best.
“Last season coming from League One, first season in the Championship, no one believed in Brentford.
“The Championship is one of the toughest leagues and any team can beat anyone.
“It’s not like there’s one team at the front.
“Everyone’s had their blips, games where you suddenly stop scoring fluently and letting goals in.
“Maybe that’s a time teams have to become hard to beat and then if you don’t win games, then don’t lose them.
“The amount of the clean sheets we’ve had lately it really gives confidence to the whole team.”
Birmingham are currently seventh in the league, three points outside the play-off places.